Passive particles Lévy walk through turbulence mirroring the diving patterns of marine predators

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Reynolds, A. M. 2018. Passive particles Lévy walk through turbulence mirroring the diving patterns of marine predators. Journal of Physics Communications. 2 (8), p. 085003.

AuthorsReynolds, A. M.

Lagrangian stochastic models for the simulation particle trajectories in turbulent flows can be made to be consistent with Kolmogorov’s similarity theory and with prescribed Eulerian velocity statistics. Intermittency (i.e., large temporal fluctuations in the rate of dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy) can also be accounted for but is usually neglected because its impact on turbulent dispersion is typically negligible. Here I show both heuristically and with the aid of numerical simulations that intermittency results in Lévy (Cauchy) walk movement patterns. The novel predictions find strong support in an analysis of movement pattern data for inert (dead) copepods in turbulent flows. This is the first experimental account of single particle movements in turbulence having Lévy walks characteristics. The mechanism stands apart from the much-studied chaotic and multiplicative pathways to Lévy walking. Lévy walks have been observed in sharks, bony fishes and in other aquatic marine predators and these have been attributed to the execution of an evolved, advantageous searching strategy. The new finding suggests that going with the flow movements is sufficient to explain the occurrence of these Lévy walks.

KeywordsLévy walks; Turbulence; Passive advection; Intermittency; Marine predators
Year of Publication2018
JournalJournal of Physics Communications
Journal citation2 (8), p. 085003
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Funder project or codeBBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Aug 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Jul 2018
PublisherIOP Publishing Ltd
Copyright licenseCC BY

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